California Lowest Percentage of Food Stamp Recipients
According to the Los Angeles Times, California is the stingiest state in the country when it comes to food stamps. Only half of those who could be eligible actually take advantage of the program. This also means that the state loses the chance to save money by billing the federal government, which pays for virtually all of the program's costs.
If all Californians who were eligible for food stamps used them, there would be more money spent on groceries, helping the state.
The difficulties in California are attributed to the amount of paperwork required, county benefits offices that are unhelpful, and confusing online applications.
In Florida, the state government pays contractors to look through the state for those eligible for food stamps. Despite conservative opposition to the huge outlay of federal cash for the program, which amounts to $74.6 billion, states are reluctant to cut back as they are the beneficiaries.
Robert Rector, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, said, "It is impossible to get states to do conservative types of reform to this program. The things they could do, they don't. It would bring them political controversy and no financial gain for their state. It is like asking them to jump into a buzz saw and to bring their governor along."